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Thurgood Marshall Early Years Facts
- Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2nd of 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland.
- He graduated from high school in 1925.
- In September 1929 he married Vivien Burey. She died from cancer in 1955. Later in 1955 he married Cecilia Suyat and they had two sons together.
- In 1930 he graduated from the historically black Lincoln University located in Chester County, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities.
- After graduating from Lincoln University in 1930 Thurgood Marshall applied to the University of Maryland Law School. His application was denied due to the fact he was black; an event that would help guide him to a life dedicated to fighting racial discrimination.
- In 1930, after being denied admission to the University of Maryland Law School, he applied and was accepted to the historically black Howard University Law School located in Washington, D.C.
- At Howard University Law School Marshall was influenced greatly by the school's dean, Charles Hamilton Houston, who stressed the importance of the fact that rights granted citizens under the U.S. Constitution applied to all Americans regardless of race. Houston stressed the importance of overturning the 1898 ruling of the United States Supreme Court in the Plessy vs. Ferguson case which established the "separate but equal" legal doctrine. Marshall would go on to lead the lawsuit that did overturn the courts Plessy vs. Ferguson decision.
Thurgood Marshall Early Legal Career Facts
- Upon graduating Howard University Law School in 1933 he began a private law practice in Baltimore, Maryland.
- In 1933 he was involved in his first major court case; a case that would earn him revenge against the University of Maryland Law School which three years earlier had denied him admission based on his race. In this case he represented Donald Gaines Murray who was a young black Amherst University graduate. Like Marshall, Murray was denied admission to the Law school based on his race. Thurgood Marshall won the case and Murray was allowed to attend the school.
- In 1934 he began to work for the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) in Baltimore, Maryland.
- In 1936 he becomes assistant special counsel for the NAACP in New York.
- Between 1940 and 1961 he won numerous cases that were brought before the United States Supreme Court; the most famous being the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case which ended the "separate but equal" doctrine.
- In 1961 President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit where he served up until 1965.
- In 1965 he was appointed United States Solicitor General by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. The United States Solicitor General represents the U.S. government in Supreme Court cases. In this position he won 14 out of 19 cases.
Thurgood Marshall as a Supreme Court Justice Facts
- Thurgood Marshall was nominated for the United States Supreme Court on June 13th of 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 30th of 1967.
- He was the first African American to serve as a Supreme Court justice.
- As a Supreme Court justice he had a liberal record.
- As a Supreme Court justice he strongly supported the Constitutional rights of individuals.
- He believed the death penalty was unconstitutional.
- In 1991 Thurgood Marshall retired from the Supreme Court.
Thurgood Marshall - Conclusion
- He received many honors for his dedicated civil rights work; including the Freedom medal (1991), the Liberty Medal (1992), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom which he was awarded in 1993 after his death.
- Thurgood Marshall died on January 24th of 1993 from heart failure in Bethesda, Maryland.
- He has received many honors after his death; including having a major airport located near Washington D.C. renamed the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in 2005.